The Falaise Pocket: A Chain of Command Solo AAR

Having painted a load of figures during the UK lockdown, I wanted to get some on the table top and at least get them through a game. Due to a crap internet connection I missed the first session of Virtual Lard 3 and was a bit annoyed to say the least, so I set up a solo game of Chain of Command that I could play. With these two factors in place, I decided it was time to try out some Americans and my German Fallschirmjäger. A quick Googling told me that the two fought one another during the Falaise Pocket operations, so I had my battle. Also, this allowed me to use some of the scenery that I recently worked on, included the bombed out church and the revisisted brick buildings. I rolled for the scenario and got a 'flank attack', so the Germans were defending a ruined village with the Americans attacking.


The Germans were classed as elites, which mean that the Americans had a larger than usual amount of support to augment their basic platoon. They opted for two Sherman M4s, a .30 Cal MG team and a pre-game barrage. The barrage lasted until the first turn ended and would make it difficult for the Germans to deploy onto the table. The paras, on the other hand, took two extra panzerschreck teams, judging that there would be armour in the area. The Americans began the game, their first command roll had three sixes and ended the first turn, which immediately negated their bombardment! However, they were able to get their first squad onto the table and began the advance on the village.


They also had control of the next phase, so were able to bring on one of their Shermans as support. 


Then the Germans took their turn and had excellent luck as they were able to deploy all three of their sections along with one of their senior leaders. One section moved to take up positions on the frontline of the woods in front of the American advance. 


Another section took up positions in the ruined village as a second line of defence. The Sergeant senior leader also hunkered down ready to bark orders.


And their third and final section lined the church wall, overlooking one of the American jumping off points. 


With one of the American squads taking fire from the woods, their sergeant appeared to reduce shock, whilst another squad advanced on the German positions through the corn fields. 


A firefight began with the MG42s taking a heavy toll on the Americans, but they were giving as a good as they got!


As the Sherman moved along the road to help shift the Germans, the third American squad took up positions along the hedge line. 


 Making small increments towards the village the advance was in danger of getting bogged down in a firefight with the Germans in the woods. 


So the Americans deployed their second Sherman, if they could get the armour forward they may be able to turn the tide. 


Despite both sides causing casualties, neither side was giving ground and one of the Shermans sped down the road. 


However, the Germans deployed one of the Panzershreck teams behind a wrecked halftrack, facing off with the leading Sherman.


It let loose, but missed!


A second shot found its mark, disabling the Sherman, however, return fire from the tank and the the infantry BAR destroyed the team. 


The Sherman's troubles weren't over yet though as another Panzershreck team deployed in the same place! 


This one fired and struck the tank, destroying it. 


However, on the flank the Americans were doing better. They had forced the paratroopers in the woods to fall back and were able to move onto the German jumping off point. In the ensuing firefight the American lieutenant was hit and wounded!


Despite their casualties, the German senior leader appeared to reduce shock and direct the fire of the badly mauled section. They were reduced in number but holding their ground. 


Over on the other flank, the German section holding the church moved forward to flank the American positions, over running a jumping off point. 


Seeing a chance to shut down another jumping off point and causing more negative morale on the attackers, the section moved through the swamps but took fire from the Americans in the hedge line. 


About half way through the game, the Americans had managed to push forward on their left flank, meanwhile the Germans had also pushed forward on their left flank. With both sides taking morale drops the game could go anyway. 


The MG42s ripped into the American section on the right, causing heavy casualties and shock!


Then tragedy struck and the American senior leader and the remains of his section were broken by the relentless fire from the edge of the village. 


A second American section broke and began to withdraw down the road to their table edge. 


American morale collapsed and the game was over with a German win. 


Even with the village still in German hands, and despite their heavy losses, their morale held. Had they lost one of their sections or even had one of their senior leaders wounded their morale may have collapsed first, but it was not to be and the Americans fell back off the table. This was an excellent game of CoC and nice to use some different figures to the ones that I normally have on the table. It went right down to the wire and could have gone either way. I also filmed the game and you can watch the AAR here:

Comments

  1. Congrats to the German side, and to you for this beautiful report, great pictures and splendid terrain...

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  2. Congrats on yet another awesome AAR!

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